KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Three BIG EAST players were selected in the 2012 Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) Draft held on Jan. 13 in conjunction with the annual National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) convention. Notre Dame's Melissa Henderson was picked No. 2 overall by Sky Blue FC, while Georgetown's Ingrid Wells went No. 9, also to Sky Blue FC. West Virginia's Erica Henderson went at No. 22 to the Western New York Flash.
Henderson collected first-team All-America honors in 2010 and third-team accolades in 2011, becoming the 15th Fighting Irish women's soccer player to receive NSCAA All-America recognition twice in her career. Henderson recently concluded her ND career with a career-high-tying 18 goals and eight assists in 2011, finishing among the BIG EAST Conference and NCAA leaders in goals and total points (44). For her career, Henderson registered 70 goals (including 24 match-winners) and 26 assists (166 points).
The 2010 Honda Sports Award recipient as the nation's top women's soccer player and the first runner-up for the Hermann Trophy, Henderson was a four-time all-BIG EAST selection and the 2010 BIG EAST Most Outstanding Offensive Player, repeating the latter honor on the national stage at the NCAA Women's College Cup, where she led Notre Dame to its third national championship and fifth consecutive College Cup appearance in 2010.
Wells earned another chance to play at the professional level when she was selected by Sky Blue FC. Sky Blue FC is based in Piscataway, N.J., near her hometown of Montclair, N.J.
Wells departs for Sweden next week after signing a professional contract with Koparbergs/Göteborg FC, based in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Henderson, chosen by the Western New York Flash, is the sixth Mountaineer to be drafted professionally. A Rochester, N.Y., native, Henderson appeared in 88 matches for the Mountaineers, scoring 22 career points on 10 goals and two assists. The center back helped West Virginia defenses record 38 shutouts in the last three seasons, including a school-record 14 shutouts in 2010.
Last year two BIG EAST players were selected in the draft, while in 2009 six league players chosen.
2012 WPS Draft
1. Atlanta Beat - Sydney Leroux, F, UCLA
2. Sky Blue FC - Melissa Henderson, F, Notre Dame
3. Boston Breakers - Stephanie Ochs, F, University of San Diego
4. Sky Blue FC - Camille Levin, D, Stanford University
5. Philadelphia Independence - Sarah Hagen, F, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
6. Western New York Flash - Lindsay Taylor, F, Stanford University
7. Western New York Flash - Teresa Noyola, M, Stanford University
8. Western New York Flash - Tori Huster, M, Florida State University
9. Sky Blue FC - Ingrid Wells, M,Georgetown
10. Atlanta Beat - Katy Frierson, M, Auburn University
11. Boston Breakers - Courtney Jones, F, University of North Carolina
12. Philadelphia Independence - Courtney Goodson, D, University of California, Irvine
13. Philadelphia Independence - Toni Pressley, D, Florida State University
14. Philadelphia Independence - Bianca Henninger, GK, Santa Clara University
15. Sky Blue FC- Jillian Mastroianni,GK, Boston College
16. Boston Breakers - Melinda Mercado, D, Oklahoma State Univesrity
17. Philadelphia Independence - Danielle Foxhoven, F, University of Portland
18. Western New York Flash- Tahnai Annis, M/F University of Florida
19. Sky Blue FC - Laura Heyboer, F, Michigan State University
20. Boston Breakers - Jessica Luscinski, F, Boston University
21. Philadelphia Independence, Jasmyne Spencer, F, University of Maryland
22. Western New York Flash- Erica Henderson, D, West Virginia
23. Atlanta Beat - Kate Deines, M, University of Washington